The events of Hexplore take place during the Crusades, ca. 1000 AD, portraying an alternate reality where magic and monsters exist. Players take the role of MacBride, an adventurer who wanders in the Middle East and decides to track down a black wizard called Garkham, who supposedly possesses a magical book that may open the path to the Garden of Eden.
The game incorporates role-playing and puzzle-solving elements. Up to three other characters can join MacBride on his quest, which can be recruited in various populated places. All the characters belong to either of the three available classes: archer, warrior, or sorcerer, each with their own combat-related and field abilities. Combat takes place in real time. Manipulation and advancement of the characters are needed to progress through the multiple levels of countryside, caves, snowlands and rocky wastelands. The game utilizes a voxel-based engine and is seen from an isometric perspective. Cooperative multiplayer mode (up to four players) is available as well.